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BIOS intermittently recognises CD drive

Posted on 2004-03-31
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I've noticed that my CD drives are registering CDs intermittently. By this I mean that when the computer is booting, at the point where my BIOS looks for a CD before the hard drive, it will only recognise that there is a CD in the drive if the computer hasn't been used for a while.

ANy ideas what's wrong and how to fix this?
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Question by:sprok
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10726716
It sounds like you have a cold boot/warm boot problem.  Usually, these are power supply problems, but before you try switching the power supply, try uninstalling the drivers and reinstalling them in device manager - that will sometimes fix a cdrom drive that isn't recognized.
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Expert Comment

by:tomar31
ID: 10727429
is possible to update the bios on the cd rom drive?

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Author Comment

by:sprok
ID: 10728043
I don't know, is it?
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by:b_smith_79
ID: 10728146
I don't think reinstalling devices in device manager will solve a problem with booting off CDs :)

Try the following steps:

Make sure your IDE cables and master/slave pin assignments are correctly set
Flash your computer's BIOS to the latest version
Once you've flashed it, reset BIOS defaults
Check for ROM/BIOS updates for all your CDROM drives. Install them if they exist, but if this problem is occurring with more than one drive on boot, it's less likely to be a problem with the drives themselves
Finally, yes, it could be a power supply issue. If you've got another one, try swapping it out. I think it's either this, or flaky BIOS code. If none of these things solve your problem, try swapping out your ribbon cables as a last resort. Your final option after this is a hardware issue with your motherboard.
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shaggyb earned 125 total points
ID: 10730126
the hot cold sugestion is possible  try aother power supply but i was going to sugest iether the cd rom itself migh be going bad or the ide controler possibly...... is there any other devices on the channel that the cd rom is on? if so are they recognized when the cd is not (yes then the cd drive is going bad or a loose cable) if no then i would say try unhooking the other device and see if thats conflicting with it.....a new ide cable couldnt hurt to try either
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Expert Comment

by:b_smith_79
ID: 10730136
Does the CDROM drive function as normal in Windows even when it fails to prompt booting off CD?
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Author Comment

by:sprok
ID: 10746104
First: thanks for the suggestions people. I'll be able to try them all out this weekend, as I have a spare functioning PC that I can use as parts. It's a Pentium 1, though, so there's no chance of it becoming my main computer.

To clear some things up: I have two CDROMS and they're both suffering. They're connected up with the same cables, so the cables could easily be the issue. Beyond that, the power supply or motherboard, yeah.

I have had some problems with the CDROMs in Windows. Failure to recognise I've put a CD into the CDROM, and also some issues with the Windows OS letting me install programs from either CDROM or my slave hard drive. I suspect the install problems, in which the computer claims that non-existant .dll files cannot be found, are related to the fact that I reinstalled Windows recently (win98 SE) while I was suffering from these problems in an ill-guided attempt to repair these problems.

The fact that the OS reinstallation didn't work is what made me come to THIS forum.

Hope that's good information. Further questions are welcome.
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Expert Comment

by:shaggyb
ID: 10746383
is one a burner? if so i know that some burners really need to be set as master...i would re check jumper config for that also....the other thing would be to pull one drive off set the other to master see if you can see that...then reverse that process......... then try a seperate cable if you get no results
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Author Comment

by:sprok
ID: 10752989
One IS a burner. I've had the jumpers set up as they have been for a couple of years now with no problems, but with having done a recent reinstall of the OS, maybe something's up there. I'll check it out.
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Author Comment

by:sprok
ID: 10955909
I'd just like to clarify that I accepted the above comment because it was the first to suggest that the CD ROM might be going bad. Seems one has gone and was interfering with the other.
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